Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Sundogs over the VLA
What if you woke up one morning and saw more than one Sun in the sky? Most probably, you would be seeing sundogs, extra-images of the Sun created by falling ice-crystals in the Earth's atmosphere. As water freezes in the atmosphere, small, flat, six-sided, ice crystals might be formed.
The Center of Centaurus A
A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. This mosaic of Hubble Space Telescope images taken in blue, green, and red light has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom.
This striking pair of galaxies is far, far away ... about 350 million light-years from Earth. Cataloged as AM0500-620, the pair is located in the southern constellation Dorado. The background elliptical and foreground spiral galaxy are representative of two of the three major classes of galaxies which inhabit our Universe.
At The Suns Edge
This dramatic set of prominences looms beyond the edge of the sun. The image was captured by astrophotographer Bob Yen as he stood in the moon's shadow near Bagdere, Turkey on August 11 for the millennium's last total solar eclipse.
Light From The Dark Sun
Only in the fleeting darkness of a total solar eclipse is the light of the solar corona easily visible from Earth. Normally overwhelmed by the bright solar disk, the expansive corona, the sun's outer atmosphere, is an alluring sight.
During a total solar eclipse, Earth's moon blocks the sun - almost exactly. While the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon, it is also about 400 times farther away and each appears to be half a degree or so in diameter.
A Crescent Sunrise
Normally, the Moon shows phases, but the Sun does not. The reason is founded in the fact that the Moon shines only by reflected sunlight. When the Moon is closer to the Sun than the Earth, only part of it appears to be lit - resulting in a familiar crescent-shaped phase.
Mars Weather Watch
Mars may be a cold, dry planet but its weather is dynamic. On June 30, wide angle cameras on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft watched the development of this large scale storm system above Mars' north polar area.
M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
What's going on in the center of this spiral galaxy? Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters.
A String Of Pearls
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, named after its co-discoverers, was often referred to as the "string of pearls" comet. It is famous for its suggestive appearance as well as its collision with the planet Jupiter!